Things My Internship Taught Me

So… you just finished your summer internship. Or maybe you didn’t have a job this summer because the idea of working a full-time, unpaid job that your dad’s friend-of-a-friend who knows that one guy from his high school who I guess is running for Congress now hooked you up with, just didn’t appeal to you. In which case, good for you. But for the rest of us who just finished lighting three months of our lives on fire, it’s time to do some reflecting. Looking back now, it’s hard to separate the time between March, when I was desperately trying to find a summer internship that I could proudly add to my LinkedIn profile like a Boy Scout badge, and the times I spent exiting out of Instagram and looking at my computer screen intently anytime my boss walked by my desk.  After some deep contemplation, however, I was able to come up with the most important things my summer internship taught me:

1.  My boss doesn’t know my name

Honestly, if you were lucky like me, then you basically got paid to be alive for 2.5 months. In fact, I’m pretty sure it would’ve taken anyone at my office longer than 2.5 months to notice I was dead and I probably still would’ve received my stipend for the summer term. So yeah, basically, if your boss doesn’t care to learn your name… it’s a win-win. Internships aren’t for learning, they’re for finessing and stealing time. 2. The importance of Happy Hour (for those 21+)

I never really understood why thirty and forty somethings loved happy hour so much. The thought of going to the P.F. Chang’s bar at 5:17 p.m. on a Tuesday for a half-priced Mai Thai used to seem really sad to me… until… I was forced to sit (read: scroll Facebook) in a cubicle for eight hours a day (read: for as little time as I could get away with). Now I get it. Without $5 chicken skewers and $3 long-island iced teas, there’s nothing else to look forward to… except my impending  and inevitable death, upon which I will be relinquished from the prison that is my office e-mail. 3. The Value of Money (lol jk)

I can’t be the only one who started off June declaring my intentions to save all of the money I would make this summer so that when the fall semester came I would have money for the occasional (read: twice a day) $28 smoothie from SouthBlock or, idk, just put the money away in savings? Well, that didn’t happen. I LEGIT spent all of my money on bi-daily coffee runs and now all I have left is regret and seven extra pounds I gained from all the scones I ate and I don’t even know how I’m going to burn them off because I can’t afford $30 work out classes anymore.  Like, what am I supposed to do? Go to Yates? *rolls eyes*  4. I look really good in a pencil skirt

Work wear is usually super gross, but I managed to push my office dress code to the very outer “Do I really need to wear a bra with this white blouse?” limits. Yes, I missed all of the best tanning hours and I don’t have Louboutin stilettos (YET, read further down), but — I did learn that if you’re ever in doubt about whether your outfit is work appropriate, just wear it. Yeah, Karen on the fourth floor will probably send an office-wide passive-aggressive e-mail out, reiterating the dress code, but if anyone confronts you directly you can just play the “I’m-a-dumb-but-cute-intern” card. Frankly though, you shouldn’t care: you choose what to wear, not your boss (and deffo not Karen with her ergonomic shoes and Chicken Alfredo Lean Cuisine.)  5. I don’t want to work

Yeah, I don’t want to work at all really. For some people, internships validate a certain career path or industry. For me, my internship made me realize that if I have to work a 9-5 job in a freezing cold office and wear a headset, I will retire at about the age of 25. Working just isn’t for me, which is kind of a huge problem, because I love money. Which brings me to my next realization… 6. I need a Sugar Daddy

You can interpret “Sugar Daddy” however you please and I’ll leave my own definition Jesuit-Ambiguous (TM) for purposes of keeping this up to Cura Personalis standards. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS. But I’m from Las Vegas, so let’s be realistic. Things didn’t work out with my boss unfortunately (refer to lesson #1) so now I’m back to the drawing board. I only have one more year left in Georgetown and only a few years left of my Sugar Baby prime to make it happen. But it needs to happen pretty soon, because Sweetgreen is expensive and it’s not like I can wear off-brand (read: anything except Lululemon) leggings on campus… so…

Hopefully, the adult world will work our better for you than it has been for me. For now, I’m off to update my seeking arrangement profile. Stay sugared Hoyas!

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, unomaha.edu

What To Do This Summer If You Don’t Have an Internship

So now it’s April and you’ve found yourself without an internship. You’re probably asking yourself: what exactly can I do this summer? Well believe it or not, there is plenty more out there than being a Hilltern or interning with your favorite consulting firm. We at 4E have a few ideas of what you could do with your non-internship filled summer.

Let’s begin with some classics. You could take classes, volunteer, work at a local ice cream shop or be a camp counselor.

Read a lot of books. This summer activity is commonly done poolside or at the beach. You could always go for the throwback and catch up on all that summer reading you never did in high school.

But wait, why not write a book? Better yet, why not compile a whole series? Not only will you find a way to pass the summer, but you may even become the next J.K. Rowling in the process.

I call this next category personal start-ups. In this day and age of media, there is so much fun stuff you can create. You could start your own blog: a food blog, a workout blog, a blog for your cat–the options are endless. A meme page could also be your calling, or maybe it’s one of those Twitter accounts where you pretend to be a famous person. Who knows? This summer is your chance to find your social media calling.

Train for an Olympic Summer sport. You may discover you’re actually really talented at canoeing, throwing a javelin or steeplechase. Then you have the whole summer to learn an Olympic sport to begin training for Tokyo 2020!

Challenge yourself. Try every ice cream flavor at every ice cream store within a 25 mile radius of where you are spending the summer. This activity will take a lot of perseverance, money and a very strong stomach. But we believe in you and advise you to always order a large small.



Start your coursework for Fall 2017. It’s never too early to begin your 1000s of pages of readings.
Okay this one is just too ridiculous. Please don’t do this.

Learn the fight song. Patrick Ewing was just announced as the new Men’s Basketball Coach, so you might want to go to a basketball game next season! Prepare yourself. And, if learning the song doesn’t take the whole summer, you can always learn the alma mater too.

Never leave your house. Not once. This will take lots of dedication and a long list of either books to read, shows to watch or walls to stare at, but you’re a Hoya and thus can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Note: if you do in fact write a book, become a successful blogger, or eat at every ice cream shop within a 25 mile radius, please let us know, as we would like thanks and partial credit for your achievement.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, disney-planet.fr

Horrors from the Intern Desk

internship horror stories

As August approaches, 4E reached out to some interning Hoyas to see how everyone’s summer has been going. What we found terrified us. Turns out that the internships that we slaved all year round to earn came with a few… quirks.
Jack Miller

Read all about our favorite intern horror stories below!

Note: Stories have been edited for grammar only. Anonymity has been granted to all contributors in the effort to preserve hard-earned reputations and dignity upon their return to the Hilltop in the fall. 

  1. Just like in the middle school cafeteria, your seating choice may make or break you.
    “The guy who sits at the desk behind me clips his nails once a week. I have to put headphones in to drown out the noise.”
  2. Hard Truth of Growing Up: Sometimes, mom won’t be right.
    “On my first day at my internship, my mom convinced me to not bring lunch because ‘Everyone will go out together!’ So I didn’t. I ended up sitting in a secluded room separate from the group of 25 interns. I decided to be brave and strolled right in there. Being my friendly self, I asked if anyone wanted to grab lunch. There was no response – not even a ‘Maybe tomorrow.’ Felt like a f****** moron.”
  3. The fashion world was, in fact, accurately depicted in “The Devil Wears Prada.”
    “My email is “intern1″ because in fashion, you don’t get a name.”
  4. When you’re an intern, you are everyone’s last priority.
    “One day, both of my bosses didn’t show up until 3 p.m. because they went to a meeting. This would have been fine, except that they didn’t tell me. I did nothing for six hours.”
  5. Intensive labor is NOT out of the question.
    “One of my jobs is to ensure that there is a pitcher of lemon water on my boss’ desk every morning. I cut and peel the lemons myself. He only accepts fresh squeezed.”
  6. You better ~lose yourself~
    “Someone in my office who I don’t know just calls me “Intern”. When I finally met him, I accidentally said “Hi, I’m Intern” instead of my name.”
  7. Not everyone is, ahem, politically correct. 
    “I [a strong independent woman] got a “You can’t be in finance! You must be on the marketing team!” last week. I can’t decide if that’s a compliment, sexual harassment or gender discrimination.”
  8. And finally, no one is safe from the refrigerator rascals of the world. 
    “Someone ate my lunch last week. I was very sad.”
    We all know what happened next…

We hope the rest of you have much better internship stories to tell this fall!

Gifs/Images: giphy.com, Death Cab for Cutie, http://bit.ly/29DldO5

Amidst Great Expectations, Hard Times Prevail in the Summer Internship Hunt

older-internDemanding exhaustive research, writing skills, patience and a healthy dose of B.S., the quest for an internship epitomizes a resume-worthy job in itself. Yet, in our endeavors to quench our hunger for career potential, we, smart, competent Georgetown leaders morph into Oliver Twist as we humbly beg for “more” hours, “more” pay and “more” responsibility.

The application process is almost Dickensian: while we work tirelessly to succeed, potential employers ignore us, minimize us and belittle us. Although I understand we are only interns, we still deserve the respect that accompanies the supposedly essential career steppingstone. Here is a list of problems we endure during the application process that if we ever did to a professor or boss we quickly would be axed:

1. The Time Delay: Waiting to hear back from an internship is like the less fun version of constantly checking your phone for a text from a friend. If your friend responds to you a month later, you’d be like “please, I asked to go to Wisey’s a month ago (but I’ll still go now because I’m always game).” If an employer rejects you a month after your application, it’s like responding to an invitation a month late saying you can’t come: it hurts both ways.

2. The No-Response: Can’t employers just send a form letter? There is no reason to completely ignore an application to which a student has dedicated time and energy. Ignoring a resume mirrors when the person you swipe right on tinder clearly swiped left and you pretend like you don’t care, but you kind of do. Except the stakes are slightly higher.

3. The Informal Language: Even though I’m not a monocle-wearing Victorian or my mom requiring no “text” language at the dinner table, I like to receive emails with a formal greeting and ending. Don’t write “hi there” and not sign your name to our first interaction. Maybe I’m being obnoxious, but if you are going to put me through two interviews and a potential security clearance, I don’t want to be addressed like a cowpoke.

4. The Inflexibility: This isn’t a high functioning mafia network: since you took two months to process my application, I get at least a week to make a decision.

5. The Pay, or Lack thereof: [Insert sassy political statement about how the insistence on unpaid internships exacerbates economic disparities and imposes unfair barriers on many qualified, talented applicants who can’t afford to work for free]

Photos/Gifs: ideafixa.com, xclusivetouch.com, giphy.com, tumblr.com

Internship Fails

internship failsSo it’s finally summer, and after all the beach towels and sunscreen bottles are put away from Memorial Day weekend at the shore, it’s time to start your internship. And you’re really excited, right?

OK, so maybe you’re a little nervous. Being the new kid is scary. You’ve got no idea what these people are going to expect of you; you’ve really only got two professional looking outfits. So while you’re all out there stressing about making a good impression in your first few weeks, it’s good to be reminded that you’re not alone. None of us know what we’re doing.

In my first days on the job, I encountered more than a few internship fails. Revel in my failures so you can feel a little better about that hole in your sweater you hope no one sees, getting lost on your commute or accidentally hanging up during your first phone call. (It might just be funny to laugh at me — that works too.)

1. Anybody there?

So it’s the very first day and I walk in the door, but no one is at the front desk. What do I do?

a) Wait for the secretary — I’m sure she’ll be right back.

or

b) Take action: go find someone and introduce myself as the new intern.

Sydney opts for none of the above and walks around aimlessly for several minutes before someone asks her who she is … good choice.

2. Office Antics

So I’m finally inside and I’ve met the intern coordinator. She and her coworker are joking around and ask me which one I think is older. I’m trapped, I’ve got to answer, but what do I say? I tried laughing it off as a joke, but they kept staring at me. “You look about equal?” That’s a safe answer. But they keep pushing, “How old do we look?” Oh, all adults look the same age to me! “Thirty-two.” That’s young but realistic, right? They just laugh at me. I’m still not sure I had the right answer …

3. Snicky Snacks

There are plenty of pretzels and animal crackers at the coffee station, and I was told to help myself. I’m starving and really want some, but do I risk everyone watching me take like seven handfuls and bring them all back to my cubicle? I waited until no one was there, dashed over, poured myself an entire cupful and ran back. Judge me. I dare you.

4. Meeting the Boss

So now that I’ve got all these animal crackers, my boss pops in to say hello. My mouth is completely full with the crackers, but I have to talk to him. Chew? No, too obvious. Swallow? Impossible. Instead I shove all the food to one side and proceed to have a conversation with my boss. Smile, I think to myself, oh wait not too much he’ll see the food in your mouth. Every time he looks away I chew as slowly and quietly as I can. Maybe he didn’t notice?

5. Lunch Break

I get an hour for lunch, success! I picked Chipotle, which seemed like a good choice to me. Unfortunately, I got caught in a rainstorm on the way back and, of course, my car was parked nowhere close to the restaurant. So now I’m soaking wet and have to go back in to work … what am I supposed to do? My hair will dry, and, with the black pants I’m wearing, you can barely tell they’re soaked — same goes for the blazer. But what won’t dry is my shear pink top which is now two different colors, and see through on the top — lovely. Luckily, I had a hair brush (because, for some reason, I thought that was more essential to bring than an umbrella) but I had no idea what to do about the shirt. My decision? I went into the bathroom before anyone could see me and used the hand dryer to blow dry my shirt. I literally stuck my chest under the hand dryer … it was possibly a new low.

6. Going Home

So you think that would be enough fails for one day right? Wrong. I have one more. As I walk out to the parking lot I realize I have no idea where I parked. That’s easy, just use the button on the keys and the car will flash and beep. Plot twist — my keys don’t have one of those. So I searched for my car for at least ten minutes in the drizzle.

So while you’re obsessing about being perfect on your first day, just remember me, soaking wet, animals crackers in my mouth and wandering around without a clue. I also may have written this at my cubicle while I was supposed to be working. Whoops! So have a good summer, and remember, it’s hard to fail as badly as me.

Summer InternTips: Not Blending into the Other Interns

D.C. in the summer is special for a lot of reasons: the oppressive heat and humidity, the crush of tourists, the litany of outdoor drinking options. But, D.C. in the summer is most definitely most famous for one thing above all else: interns. Every summer, thousands of interns from schools around the country descend on our beloved District for three months of schmoozing with government officials and lobbyists. Those of us here over the summer, however, have an edge on the other interns. Along with living in D.C. year-round, we’ve got friends and connections here. We know how to get around. We don’t have to live in GW dorms for the summer.

But, to our coworkers, we’re the same as every other intern. So, we here at 4E have some tips for those of you whose coworkers put you on the same level as your fellow interns.

1. Be better than the other interns. This shouldn’t really be too hard for you. Use your Georgetown education and treat work during your internship better than you treat your homework. (So, don’t procrastinate.) You are at work to do work. A lot of interns forget that.

2. Do projects right the first time. Make sure that you understand assignments clearly by asking questions and that you are on the right track by consistently staying in contact with your boss or project manager. A lot of interns are afraid to do this, which is their pitfall.

3. Develop a rapport with your boss by getting to know them outside of work with short “water-cooler” conversations. A lot of bosses like to talk about something other than work before actually beginning work. Don’t be afraid to embrace these conversations and let your personality shine through. If your boss only sees you as another intern, rather than a person, you won’t go far this summer.

4. Keep a safe distance between work and home life. A lot of interns are too comfortable sharing their awesome D.C. summer with their bosses. You don’t want to share your drinking habits, hookups and other debauchery with your bosses. A lot of interns forget that.

5. Become a leader for interns. (AKA, become the lady in the photo at the top of this post.) If you’re in an office with a lot of interns, you most likely have people that aren’t familiar with the area in your office. Become an expert on projects so that other interns can ask you questions about them. This can be difficult if you all started at the same time, but if you develop a positive professional and social relationship with the other interns, it should be a breeze.

6. Use your D.C. knowledge to set yourself apart. You’re in a much more familiar environment than most D.C. interns. You know the city. So, be a source of knowledge for other interns in your office and don’t be afraid to name-drop neighborhoods or restaurants that you’ve been to.

7. Avoid the stereotypical intern pitfalls. Try not to seem young, new, inexperienced or unprofessional. A lot of people (maybe not your bosses, but other coworkers) see interns as the dump for bad work. If you avoid those pitfalls, the intern stereotype will change and you’ll get better work.

Photo credit: businessanthropology.blogspot.com

Friday Fixat10ns: Internship Edition

Friday Fixat10ns: Internships from thehoya on 8tracks.

Those of us lucky to have summer internships have now probably just started to get into our routines. The cobwebs and mistakes of our  first weeks are over, and now we’re in the thick of it. For those of you already tired of the daily commutes, long hours and cubicles, this playlist is for you. Here, we have ten songs perfect for any summer intern — whether you’re in D.C. or across the country.

Ballad of a Politician — Regina Spektor One of the best songs on Regina’s newly released album, this song is for those of you working on the Hill or in any otherwise political job this summer. (As in, most of us in D.C.)

212 — Azealia Banks This is for you New York interns out there. (Also, Azealia Banks is only 21.)

Cruel — St. Vincent Many of us will inevitably meet cruel bosses, coworkers and (most often) fellow interns. This song will help you get over them.

Midnight City — M83 I know that I already posted this song (or a mashup of it) on the last edition of Fixat10ns. But, honestly, this is the perfect intern song for anyone in the city. Listen to this song on the Metro in the morning. It sets a good mood for the rest of the day.

Money Maker — The Black Keys Most of us aren’t money makers this summer. Hopefully our internships lead us to become money makers, though.

Civilian — Wye Oak If you’re ever stressed, listen to this song. It’ll calm you down. They’re also visiting D.C. this August 17.

Society — Eddie Vedder Another great commuting song. Also especially relevant to interns due to us now being functioning members of society instead of holed up on a college campus.

Civilization — Justice Awesome dance beat for your commute home or a quick office break.

Hum Drum Town — Theophilus London I feel like this song is somehow relevant to internships. Though D.C. is not a humdrum (AKA boring) town in the slightest, and Theophilus is most certainly not making a profound observation about society or working people. In any case, it’s a great song.

Chillin — Wale feat. Lady Gaga I always feel obliged to include one song on Fixat10ns. Since many of us are D.C. chillin, this is a shout out to everyone who stayed in the District this summer.

Summer InternTips: Gaining Respect

You’ve spent a couple of weeks at your internship now, and now that you’ve avoided most of the first week pitfalls, you’re ready to get more exciting assignments and take full advantage of your internship experience. Last week, we here at 4E gave you some tips to make your first week awesome. Now, we’ll give you the tips you need to gain respect at the workplace.

1. Volunteer for things. Most internships are composed of primarily tasks fulltime staff members don’t want to or don’t have time ro perform themselves. So, they’ll often ask for assistance on less exciting or less important projects that still need to be done. Especially if you’re in an office with other interns or if you have extra time on your hands, volunteering for extra projects is the best way to get noticed.

2. Don’t be shy. One of the best ways to get to know your coworkers is by meeting them in the hallways, in the break room, at lunch or when you walk by their office. Instead of customarily nodding or waving at them, introduce yourself politely. A lot of interns fall into the pitfall of being “the intern” that no one knows, so get people to know your name as opposed to your title.

3. Don’t slack off. If you have a project, get straight to work. If you don’t have a project, ask for one quickly. Most interns aren’t well known in their offices because they don’t do a lot of work. They sit around dillydallying on Facebook, ESPN, Twitter or Pinterest as opposed to asking for other work. If you really don’t have anything to do, read the news or other relevant materials to your internship (like company reports, etc.).

4. Know your work as well as everyone else does. The hardest part about interning somewhere for one summer is familiarizing yourself with your employer and your employer’s work. Still, you work there, and you should try to get to know the issues as well as everyone else in your office. This means reading industry news websites, following similar organizations’ work and asking around the office to figure out what specific people are working on.

5. Show off (but not too much). Don’t be afraid to showcase you knowledge, your skill set and your Georgetown education. Just don’t make a big deal of it. Everyone else at the office will start to hate you if you do. But, if you can show your skills in a humble way, you’ll score major points with the office.

6. Learn names. Try to learn you coworkers’ names, and address them by name. It gives them an incentive to address you by name, as well.

7. Take notes and ask questions so that your work will be the best it can be. When you get an assignment, make sure that you know how to do it before you start. That way, you’ll turn out better work and you’ll start to earn respect in the workplace. The best way to earn respect at work is by doing something that deserves respect.

Photo credit: cybermonsters.blogspot.com